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Convert Scanned PDF to Word Online

by Hung Nguyen

You can also read this article in German, Spanish, French, Indonesian, Italian and Portuguese.

Check out how you can convert scanned PDF documents to editable Word files using our OCR. 📑

Having to convert PDF to Word is a moderately simple task, as the method merely reverts the content of the PDF file to its original format.

However, if you are scanning documents and saving them to PDF, most times, they are stored as images. OCR (Optical Character Recognition) is required to extract the text and save the converted documents into editable Word files.

Our online service does just this. And yes, it’s free to use.

How to convert scanned PDF to Word documents online

  1. Access the Smallpdf PDF to Word online tool.

  2. Upload your PDF file via drag-and-drop.

  3. The OCR software will activate as it detects the PDF as a scan.

  4. Wait for the conversion to finish.

  5. Download your editable Word file.


Scanned PDF to Word in a nutshell

The process to convert the scanned PDF file into an editable Word doc may take a few extra seconds, as our OCR needs to recognize the text of the paper documents stored as scans in PDF form, start the extraction process as it moves the content to Word.

On the bright side, being one of the fastest online PDF to Word converter (loved by over 20 million users per month, and counting…), the whole process to convert the file from scanned PDF to Word should take too long. ;)

Is the scanned pdf to word converter free?


Smallpdf tools are free to use, up to twice per hour. You can scan to pdf online, as well as converting images, spreadsheets and powerpoints to pdf, even when these documents are scans. To use our optical character recognition - OCR technology to convert images to editable Word, check out our JPG to Word Guide.

Cool, but what are the limitations?


Yes, but they are nothing to worry about. We know that converting scanned images may take up a lot of resources, as high-resolution scans may be quite large - thus we have extended the file size limit to 5GB, even for free users.

The online tool to convert images to pdf or scanned pdf to word only allow one conversion per file. If you have more than a handful, you can also get a Smallpdf Pro account, which removes this limit.

With this, the scan to pdf converter will also allow you to carry out this extraction process offline, with the Smallpdf Desktop app.

Are my scans safe?


Utmost security of your files is a guarantee. We’ve recognized the concern of general users when it comes to cloud services from day one. As such, Smallpdf does everything in our power to take care of your files; we adopt SSL, delete files after every hour and use the reliable Amazon Web Services to host and handle your documents. For full disclosure, do check out our Terms and Privacy page. :)


Go on, give our scan to PDF converter a try ;)

Hung Nguyen
Hung Nguyen
Content Marketing Manager @Smallpdf